What's Going On With Me? Part Two
There's an interesting psychological dynamic that unfolds when you lose a dramatic amount of weight and then gain some of it back, or a lot of it back. I'm convinced this dynamic is exactly what makes successfully losing again seem more difficult. Suddenly, it becomes much more than controlling our calorie budgets, exercising and paying attention to our emotional state and the accompanying triggers. Now, we must do a little more "mental work" as we do our best to get past the guilt, shame and embarrassment associated with weight gain and put our focus squarely where it's most benefiting. This dynamic is powerful no matter if you blogged about your weight loss and wrote a book or not.
I was in line at the grocery store the other day, fighting the urge to grab a dose of sugar, when a man came up behind me in line and said, "Sean Anderson, I read your book. You've gained some back." Two things happened in that moment: 1. I immediately lost any desire to grab a Snickers bar and 2. I felt a rush of guilt, shame and embarrassment. Now, most people operate with a better set of filters. This scenario has played out more than a few times, but usually the other person doesn't vocalize the obvious. Even when the obvious isn't stated, I'm real good at deciding exactly what they're thinking. The silent-mental conclusion is always much more harsh and unforgiving and likely inaccurate.
How will I ultimately overcome this added obstacle? Perspective. Shifting my perspective is paramount to my success today.
Inventory time! This is where I make a list of good and not as good, qualities...and you know what? I'll spare you the self-indulgent list and cut to the chase: Turns out I'm a pretty decent guy. Yay for that!
I'm human. I'm real. I don't know everything. I'm always open to learning. And the things I'm learning now are things crucial to my long term success. I'm not saying weight gain after a dramatic loss was a good thing, but if I shift my perspective around I can clearly see where I can learn from and benefit from this experience.
As this blog moves forward, I'm going to get into more of a "diary" type mode, much like in the beginning. Less "here's what I think" and more "Here's what I did and am doing." I'm excited at the idea of getting back to the roots of this blog. Back to a diary in the purest sense. You see, I tend to suffer from paralysis by analysis. I try to understand things from every angle, take it apart, dissect the elements, reach conclusions, maybe write about my personal philosophical conclusions and then when I struggle, it's back to the drawing board. We can study ourselves and learn, learn, learn--the applying part is the critical step that's often times hindered by the exhaustive analysis.
Much like advice I've given a hundred times to others: It's time to stop trying to figuring everything out and just do. Just be. And be okay. And move forward. After all, much of what I learned while losing 275 pounds, I learned along the way. Had I stopped back then to "study" it all, I would have never experienced the initial success.
Taking better care of me is critical. The sleep issue is my main focus and concern. My appointment Thursday with the sleep specialist resulted in a prescription for Nuvigil (thank you for the suggestion, Joe!) And some suggested "positional therapy." The bottom line was: Get fit and this will dramatically improve or become a non-issue. I told him how even at 230 I was having serious sleep issues. He then asked, "How fit were you at 230?" Mmmmm... And I asked, "Are you suggesting I need muscle, work out with weights?" And he told me it could make a major difference. Body composition is important to this issue. It certainly makes sense. And once again I'm reminded of the awesome responsibility I have in taking better care. It's all up to me. I've understood this for awhile, cementing in my mind during the initial weight loss. It's interesting how another issue comes along and it becomes convenient to overlook this part. It is up to me. I can dramatically improve my life. Basically, I can choose change before change chooses me. Yes, it all comes back to this very real truth.
I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend!
Thank you for reading,